Pantry or No Pantry? Can't decide...

kolorblindingJuly 14, 2014

I'm stuck on what to do with the refrigerator and would really appreciate your opinion...What do you think looks better?

If I have a pantry cabinet next to the refrigerator, I'll have a continuous run of 15" wide doors to the left of the window and 18" doors to the right of the 36" refrigerator. The pantry will also prevent the refrigerator door from opening into the doorway.

If I don't have a pantry, I'll be able to put the refrigerator at the end of the run of cabinets. In order to preserve symmetry around the window, I'll need to reduce the 33" window to a 28" window and extend the length of the LEFT uppers to 36", leaving me with 18" doors. I would also be able to fit in 30" uppers to the RIGHT of the window, leaving me with two 15" doors and two 18" doors to the right of the window.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Ooh that's a tough one! I like the symmetry surrounding the window, but done like the way the fridge crowds the door in that option. Could you survive without uppers on the window wall?

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 8:55PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Based purely on looks --

I definitely prefer the first picture. It looks more balanced to me.

I would consider the second option only if the two upper cabinets could be made the same width, but that might not be possible with your dishwasher placement. But even then, I would prefer the first option.

Can you make your window taller?

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 9:06PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Definitely prefer the first option. I would never, ever decrease a window for a little more cabinet space. I agree with sarah and would actually consider making the window even taller. You'll never regret the natural light even if you don't have a perfect view.

The window looks very crowded in the "no pantry" option also.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 9:19PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Definitely the pantry option. What size is the upper by the sink in that option. 24"? Could you go down to 21" I feel like it could look more balanced with one door rather than two.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 9:29PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Based on the look & the larger window, I like #1, the pantry option.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 10:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Definitely go with the pantry. I agree with all the others here, and the added part is that having a pantry is way better than having uppers. You will also make your fridge look more built-in by having cabinetry around it and not having it stick out.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 11:00PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I like option 1 as well

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 11:06PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Number 1. You get the benefits of a bigger window (even 33" is small) and a pantry. I love having a pantry. Aesthetically, I like how the fridge looks in the first option anyway.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 11:19PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I vote for #1. It looks more balanced and you gain a pantry and larger window. #2 looks crowded.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 2:36AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You have a large front window so losing 5" of sink window is not a great sacrifice. But it does look crowded with the cabinets brought in close to the narrower window. That 18" buffer that the pantry gives you really doesn't prevent the fridge from opening at your entrance. No one is squeezing past that open fridge door regardless. One idea is to put a 15" cabinet/counter in place of the pantry so groceries land as you walk in. Give those extra 3" to the counter to the right of the sink. The ~ 12" counter space is a bigger issue to me than cabinet space/symmetry. If dirty dishes go on the left, is 12" on the right enough room to place washed dishes? Is 12" enough landing space for the fridge? The lack of counter space is your biggest issue imo.

In some of your renderings you showed an island. Will one fit? I think you need one because you only have the corner with the DW to prep. You also need a grocery landing zone. If you have an island blocking the view of your base cabs, you might be willing to move the DW to the right of the sink and not worry about it matching the fridge, which will allow you to use the drawer base to the right of the stove as a pots and pans/Tupperware/silverware drawer and actually unload from the DW into those drawers. As it is now, you can't have the DW and those drawers open at the same time.

On your other threads, a few of the KDs recommended you switch the fridge and stove. If your stove goes on the sink wall, I assume you'd have a 24" DW, 30" sink base, 24" drawer base, 30" stove, and 12" drawer base. The 24" between sink and stove is a decent wet prep area. Perhaps with the stove on the sink wall you could eliminate the uppers and use a chimney hood, maybe some shelves, and tile that wall to the ceiling for a very contemporary look. With the fridge on the other wall, you might fit in a bigger pantry and not miss the wall cabs on the sink wall. Or you could place the fridge pantry to open from the side, eliminating the $$ pull-out.

I don't think the windowed top cabinets are going to accomplish a lighter look for your cabinets. The proportions have to be perfect and door widths the same throughout the room. When they are on 15" doors, you will have tiny windows. I would rather use my top shelves for storing regular stuff than to make a display of small objects all along the ceiling. I think in a kitchen this size, you don't want restrictions on what can go on the top shelves.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 10:23AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I hate having the fridge next to a wall and went to extreme measures to change that layout in my kitchen, but that's just me.

Just checking - you know that you need more than 36" of space to house a 36" fridge, right? Depending on manufacturer specs for your fridge you'll need a cabinet that's anywhere from 37" to 40" wide.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 10:39AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

ditto Mayflower: more importantly: you need to move your DW out of that corner. Move it to the right of the sink.
that corner DW = no bueno.


    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 11:29AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

While typing the above, I wondered if you had room for the fridge and stove on the same wall. It would give you a nice clear passage from that outside door entrance. Of course you wouldn't want to make the living room/dining room entrance too tight by putting a fridge too close to the opening. How opportune that Sjhockeyfan posted this link a little while ago that shows that arrangement.

Here is a link that might be useful: FoxCrane's kitchen

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 1:10PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Lisa_a posted this pantry that is between the studs. You have that blank wall that maybe you could utilize.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 4:14PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I like #1 but would still consider taking the window down to counter height. Or even bumping it out

That pantry between the studs is crazy clever!

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 5:32PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks for all the input! I made some more changes...What do you think?

The passage from the dining room to the kitchen is only 35.5" because I tried to keep most of the upper cabinet doors 15" wide. This prevented me from moving the range closer to the wall. I know this 35.5" isn't ideal, but the hallway itself is only 32" wide. Do you think this will look ok?

The wall cabinets are 17.75" high cabinets stacked on top of 39 1/8" cabinets. This is very, very close to the 1:3 recommended ratio. Do you think this looks good, or should I just forget about stacking my cabinets? If I don't stack them, I will have approximately 19" of empty space above the cabinets.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 1:37AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think it's looking great.
Love the stacked cabinets.

- What is that closet by the fridge? Can you use some of that for pantry?
- because I would lose/shrink the tall pantry to have a 36" sink/base. Then I would put the trash on the right side of the 18" of the sink.

- I would move the island closer to the sink.
why 46" vs. 37" aisles?
how about 42 vs. 41?
if anyone sits at that end of the island, no one can walk around that way, and would have to go through the cooking/prepping zone instead.
you want the traffic flow to go around the island, not through the cooking area (by sink/stove).

someone already posted: you need more than 36" to house a 36" wide fridge.

tweak tweak tweak


    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 8:22AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks, I will move the island.

Yes, the closet near the sink will be used as a pantry, so i don't absolutely need those tall pantry cabinets. I kept them so I could keep the continuous run of 15" doors on top. I could also just use a regular 30" base and wall cabinet. But I've always liked those pull-out pantries at Ikea, even if they aren't as useful as they seem. I might save some money by getting rid of the pantries...but not as much as you'd think, considering the extra labor per cabinet and the extra 5-6 SF of countertop.

The refrigerator is already resized to the manufacturer's recommended cabinet cutout dimensions and includes 1" clearance in the back.

I'm going to play around with the 36"'s tough centering it with the window without moving the dishwasher back to the corner. I don't think I would mind having a dishwasher in the corner, though...but I thought it would be best to keep it farther away from the other two non-matching stainless steel appliances.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 9:22AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

How tall is the window on the south wall (below the island in your floor plan shown above)? Can that wall accommodate standard-depth cabinetry?

How wide is the door opening right next to the pantry cabinets?

Are you absolutely set on having an island? Another option you could consider is a peninsula + a run of cabinets along the south wall with your microwave, pantry and/or additional counterspace. That would allow you to have seating at the peninsula, improve your aisle widths, consolidate the placement of the fridge and pantry, provide more continuous counterspace, and generally fill some of the empty wall space. Just a thought.

Where is the microwave in your plan?

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 10:03AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

This is a lot better. It looks clean and balanced AND functional. I'm glad it worked to put the fridge on the wall with the stove, and you have 15" of counter between them. Good! Are you using a CD fridge? We have 36" for our fridge opening, but there was a recent discussion about needing the extra inch or two in case your walls aren't straight.

I have to disagree with Amanda about going to a 36" sink base. In a kitchen this size, you just can't lose that amount of base storage to sink base. My old sink base was 36" and my new one is 28". We switched to a single bowl sink and those extra inches went toward a trash pull-out, which we love. We make more use of our DW now because it actually cleans our dishes!

You show base cabinets instead of drawers--have you read the umpteen threads here about the benefits of drawers? Is the small cabinet near the sink a trash pull-out?

I think the stacked cabs are nice but am not a fan of the little windows and the little items placed in them. What is the actual window opening once you subtract for the stiles and rails? Of course you could always use frosted glass but then you lose the sparkle of glass, so what's the point? I would rather put my glass budget into the two cabinets flanking the window, which will hold dishes anyway. That would give your kitchen personality and break up the wood tones, assuming the cabs will be wood. Or the white tones. I guess they can be too much too.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 10:22AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The south wall won't fit any cabinets because of the steam radiator and a pipe that I forgot to include in the floor plan, but I don't really care about the extra storage because I have a large pantry closet. The microwave will be put in a base cabinet or, if I decide to have one, inside the pantry.

I'm not absolutely set on the island. I'm actually also quite fond of the layout with a peninsula that someone suggested a while back. I really liked the social aspect of the peninsula seating that would allow the cook to face guests while cooking. But several people suggested that it would look better if I gave up the peninsula and swap the fridge/range. Which do you like better?

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 10:38AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I mean to put the trash UNDER the sink, since you can't use that space for much, so trash is perfect there.
36" sink base = 2 18" doors, so put the drain on 1 side, and the trash in the other.
--> don't need to dedicate a whole base cabinet to trash.
And you benefit from having a bigger sink (I love my 36" single bowl sink).

I'm 100% function over form.
So I wouldn't mind a little non-symmetry if I get a better layout.
The DW in the corner is a big red flag for me. Way too congested.
I'm thinking I'm cooking pasta on the stove, while DH is washing the lettuce and my 2 kids reach for something in the DW (because they didn't get to unload it yet), and I need to pour out the cooked pasta.
see below: even if you don't have kids and it's just you cooking, hard to change feature/resell.
And it's not an easy fix (in the future, if resell, if I buy the house: not easy to run new drain line to the right of the sink or have to move fridge to fit the DW...)

Do what's right for you.
I had to put up several good fights w/ my layout: people thought my fridge was WAYYYYY too far away.
And i love my layout!

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 11:13AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


I'm glad you like it! I really appreciate your input.

All the base cabinets will have drawers. The small 15" base cabinet to the right of the sink is just there so I can center the sink. I could use it as a trash pull-out, but I don't like having it so far from the sink and adjacent to the DW and pantry.

I'd like to have an 18" trash pullout somewhere, but if I put it to the left of the sink, where I have 30" of space, I will need to have a second 12" cabinet.

Do you think the trash pullout will fit under the sink if I use a Kraus 30" undermount that's 10" high? If not, I think I'll just settle for a regular trash bin under the sink.

This post was edited by kolorblinding on Thu, Jul 17, 14 at 11:26

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 11:24AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


If you put it that way, then I'm definitely sold on taking the dishwasher out of the corner. Resale value is definitely important to me because I don't plan on living there forever. Thanks!

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 11:31AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My sink = 36" Kraus 10" deep fits fine.
I pulled my sink base (and 2 flanking DWs out ~3inches from wall - so I have a focal point and deeper countertop).
Under the sink on left 18" door = trash and a small recycling bin (for tuna cans, etc. have bigger recycling in familyroom).
Right side right now holds some soap, etc, but will contain the eye-vac vacuum.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 11:32AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

What do you think about continuing the top cabinets over the sink?

Also like dishwasher not in corner, especially if your right handed. Not a huge issue but I can feel difference loading/ unloading with left hand over my prior home with DW on right. Also if you have to wait until dishwashers closed to unload items into cabinet blocked by open DW door.

I like the additional floorspace your peninsula version creates. Im doing an island on new build because peninsula doesnt work for us but think the default to go to islands has more and more kitchens with pathways instead of floorspace.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 11:39AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

last post today, i promise:
see link

Here is a link that might be useful: trash AND recycling pull outs under sink

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 11:52AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

How high are the ceilings?

I have a U kitchen, sink at the closed end, with a window over it. Both my cabinet maker and electrician recommended I not put a cabinet over the sink, even though there was room (8 foot ceilings). They both felt the space would have felt too crowded.

I have a nice pendant hanging over the sink, which would have to have been changed, so that was a factor as well. My electrician pointed out that by the time I put a can light in the cabinet, I wouldn't have any storage space left anyway.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 12:11PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thank you for your clarifications. I prefer the island layout in that case.

I agree that the DW location is much better on the right-hand side of the sink.

How many people will be cooking in your kitchen? If only one, I like the idea of the fridge near the walk-in pantry. If there are 2+ cooks, I think I would move the refrigerator near the sink and move the range further to the left so as to create the largest possible secondary prep zone between the sink and the range. Another advantage is that your fridge would not be directly across from the island - the doors would mostly open into your aisle. The tradeoff would be that an open dishwasher door could get in the way of the refrigerator.

If you have seating at the island and in addition you have the radiator by the window, I would strongly suggest that you rework your aisle widths around the island. Between cabinet runs, my personal preference is for narrower aisles (I would reduce the 46 to 40-42 or less).

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 1:00PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think your guests will be more comfortable sitting at an island than a peninsula. How much actual time do you spend standing at the stove?

At the peninsula, you have two people in a small space, with one trapped in by the wall. That person gets to look at the side of a wall cabinet. There is no other view than you at the stove. Maybe you're a famous chef and they won't mind this. ;) In that case, an island cooktop is a better choice. If you need something from the walk-in pantry, they have to move. So most likely one will sit on the end, but where will you sit while you're waiting for the water to boil?

The peninsula forces you into getting a breakfast table, further crowding the kitchen. That table is in front of the bathroom door. Not very appetizing.

So with the island, they can sit or stand around it and help prep, as Foxcrane's guests did. If you turn the island, you'll have drawers facing the sink and a place for silverware and other items that come out of the DW. You can unload groceries onto the island, which is close to your entryway. You will take the path of least resistance doing these tasks, so with a peninsula, they will all shift to the small counter to the left of the sink, where you will probably need to keep a small appliance or two.

I have never seen anyone resist an island when they have room for one. Islands are also more desirable for resale.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 3:04PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Symmetry, schmymmetry. Do NOT reduce the size of your window. The first one looks much better anyway.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 4:00PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Anyone used solid surface backsplash with granite countertops?
I am considering doing full backsplash in Corian (or...
Carol Vesier
Moen Motionsense faucets
Hello! I just installed a Moen Motionsense kitchen...
Reviews for 'Steel' Ascot freestanding ovens
Hi, does anyone have the above Italian made range in...
Strategies for washing dishes in a large single sink vs double sink
Hi all, We have in our plans to get a large (33 inch)...
Ikea Cabinets & Butcherblock - Quality?
We're about 95% sure we're replacing our cabinets....
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™